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The Mists of Avalon Paperback – 7 Jan 1993

4.4 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1024 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (7 Jan. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140177191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140177190
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 5.2 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"[A] monumental reimagining of the Arthurian legends . . . Reading it is a deeply moving and at times uncanny experience. . . . An impressive achievement."--The New York Times Book Review "Marion Zimmer Bradley has brilliantly and innovatively turned the myth inside out. . . . add[ing] a whole new dimension to our mythic history."--San Francisco Chronicle "Gripping . . . Superbly realized . . . A worthy addition to almost a thousand years of Arthurian tradition."--The Cleveland Plain Dealer

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A Literary Guild Featured Alternate
Here is the magical legend of King Arthur, vividly retold through the eyes and lives of the women who wielded power from behind the throne. A spellbinding novel, an extraordinary literary achievement, THE MISTS OF AVALON will stay with you for a long time to come.... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
At its absolute best, this book is just plain fun and appeared in my life when I was discovering interests in both Arthurian legend and paganism.

Told through the experience of the women of King Arthur's court, the book takes a unique look at the familiar legend and embraces most, if not all, of the female characters involved in the tale in a manner and depth not found in more classical renderings. This beautifully fulfills the ultimate aim of any fictional re-telling of a familiar story: to light a faded tapestry to show threads of a more brilliant hue, thus drawing the eye and satisfying the heart with heretofore unrecognised hidden depths.

The main character, Morgaine, classically known as Morgan le Fay, is traditionally presented in the simplest terms as the nemesis of King Arthur. In The Mists of Avalon, she is portrayed in a rather more forgiving and heroic light. Convinced by what she interprets as the inexorable erosion of her native mystic-Celtic tradition to the tide of Christianity sweeping the land, she calls upon her childhood training and deeply held beliefs to battle what she sees as the death of her culture, to ultimately find that the only absolute is change and the only firm ground upon which to stand is love.

The voice of the book is not limited to Morgaine, also represented are Gwenhwyfar, Morgause, Igraine, Vivian and Nimue, all contributing their own often humourous, often heart-rending, maddening and unforgettable accounts of reality in their own thoughts and words. This book forges a feeling of having re-discovered nearly every woman you have ever known and realise you never really forgot.
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Format: Paperback
Anyone who has any interest in anything pagan or pre-christian would definitely love this beautifully written and cleverly crafted book. It is very much a tale of enchantment and magik. Marianne Zimmer-Bradley takes you on a mystical and at times whimsical journey through the changing times of England from before the reign of Arthur to after his death. The reader is taken through the realms of faery and across the mists to the isle of Avalon which is forever under threat as a result of the narrow minded, ever punishing christian priests. The main character, Morgaine le Fay, through whose eyes we see all this is portrayed in a very sympathetic light in comparison to most other Arthurian tales who tell of her as an evil temptress continuously plotting for Arthur's downfall.
This is a truly magikal book and i doubt i shall ever read another book like it.
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Format: Paperback
I first read this book when I was 13 years old. It made an enormous impression on me. I had never read a book like that!Since then I have re-read it several times and it will remain my favourite book of all time.
I made me think different about a lot of things in my life. I was brought up Catholic, but after reading MOA, I started reading other books and learned a lot more. It was also my first encounter with 'feminisme'. I felt connected with Morgaine in a lot of ways, and it made me stronger.
This is the book that opened a whole new world for me, and I do not mean Wicca or any other religion.
I now realise I read this book at a crucial age in my life, from child to young woman. I have recommended the book to several friends and they all agree it is something very special.
I am expecting my first child now, and if it is a girl, I will certainly give her my book and tell her all about it, when the time is right.
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By Brida TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book re-tells the story of King Arthur and his knights, from the perspective of the women. This is partly what attracted me to it - as another reviewer described, it is unashamedly female - but the other aspect of the book's attraction for me was the description of how Christianity and 'paganism' collide. Due to personal changes in my life, as I have grown into womanhood, I have become more and more interested in Goddess religion / wisdom. For me, Christianity just does not have the same respect for what is female. Having now finished THE MISTS OF AVALON, I can easily say that the book did not disappoint. I found the way Zimmer Bradley wrote about Christianity and the Goddess truly inspiring. I loved the way she presented an alternative way to live a religious life, detailing different ways of performing ritual, and detailing differences in religions see certain behaviours, or acts. For example, how the expression of sexuality differed - from the Christian perspective we are told that woman is responsible for the original sin in the Garden of Eden, while from the Goddess perspective, sex is not a sinful act, but sacred.

This book was truly a breath of fresh air for me, I think I shall treasure it, and I shall certainly make the time to read it again in the future.

Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a long book and not really for the faint hearted.
A very clever retelling of the Arthurian legend,told solely from a female perspective.
It is much cleverer than the usual scenario of... Morgaine bad...Arthur good.
It is indeed a battle for power...but not so one dimensional as a battle for the throne,but more a battle for the hearts and minds of men.
If the author does go off at times on a tangent,then she more than makes up for it,by offering the reader a story which is rich in imagery,character and mythology.
A really good read.
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